Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

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Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 26th February 2016, 7:20 pm

Shin Megami Tensei is the first game in the titular sub-series of the Megami Tensei franchise. However, the only reason that distinction needs to be made is because before this game, two games were released by Namco (which was called "Namcot" back then!) on the Famicom in the years 1987 and 1990, titled Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei and Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II. "Megami Tensei" is Japanese and essentially translates to "Goddess Reincarnation", a reference to the plot of the first game, but that doesn't quite roll off the tongue, so for the sake of uniqueness, the series is still called Megami Tensei here in America. The first game was based on a novel of the same name written by Aya Nishitani, and the second game had an original story from the Tokyo-based developer, Atlus.

This is all back-ground information at this point, because the series really broke into its own with Shin Megami Tensei, released on the Super Famicom in 1992. "Shin" is a word in Japanese that can be spelled different ways to have different meanings. Usually it means "new", making this game's title translate to "New Goddess Reincarnation", which may or may not be a reference to this game's plot, depending on your interpretation. However, spelled another way, "Shin" was also a common prefix that was attached to games released on the Super Famicom, meaning something akin to "Super", making the title translate to "Super Goddess Reincarnation", which is so smarmy and sarcastic that I'm certain the pun was intentional on Atlus's part. With this game, Atlus decided to move on from their relationship with Namco (sorry, "Namcot") and publish the game themselves, which was a risky decision that ended up working out for the better, because the game was successful enough to build a brand for Atlus, who continues to develop and publish the games in this still-running franchise.

Shin Megami Tensei is the game I will be playing for y'all, however, not the original Super Famicom version, because 1) I don't own that version, 2) I don't own a Super Famicom, 3) I don't even know where I'd get a Super Famicom, 4) I don't even know if there's a difference between a Super Famicom and a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 5) the original Super Famicom version of this game sells for like hundreds of dollars on Amazon, and 6) I don't speak Japanese. An English translation of an emulated, digital version of this game has been available from a group called Aeon Genesis since 2003, and many people consider that the "definitive version" of this game, but not even two years ago, Shin Megami Tensei finally received an English translation from Atlus themselves, utilizing some of the crew who translated Shin Megami Tensei IV. It's funny how these things work out sometimes.

Back in Japan, this game has gone through many iterations. The original Super Famicom version was released in 1992, then it was brought to the PC Engine ("Super Famicom" is to "SNES" as "PC Engine" is to "TurboGrafx-16") in 1993, then to the Sega Mega-CD ("Mega-CD" is to "Sega CD" as "PC Engine" is to "TurboGrafx-16" and "Super Famicom" is to "SNES") in 1994, then to the PlayStation in 2001 ("PlayStation" is to "purple" as "frog" is to... ? (Worth 5 points)), and then the Game Boy Advance in 2003 (on my birthday!). Finally, in 2012, the Game Boy Advance version was brought to iOS and Android platforms. The iOS version of the Game Boy Advance version, which uses the PlayStation version's music ("iOS" is to "Game Boy Advance" as "PlayStation" is to "my ass"), was translated into English and put on the North American App Store on March 18th, 2014. This is the version I am playing.

By the way, I figured out that I can take screen-shots in landscape mode! Good for you!

The game requires an iOS of 4.3 or higher, which is extremely lucky for me, because my iPhone 3GS is rockin' iOS 4.3.3! I bought the game for $8 in August of 2015, and finally finished my first play-through a few weeks ago. This play-through will be my second, so forgive me if I seem to know more than I let on over the course of this play-through, because, well, I do.

This game is worth every cent I spent and more, and if my play-through convinces you to go experience it yourself, I hope you fall in love with Atlus's franchise as deeply as I have. Back in August of 2015, this was the first Megami Tensei game I ever purchased, and now, not even a year later, I own 7 games in the franchise. That should be a testament to how meaningful and valuable these games have become to me. They combine refreshingly difficult role-playing game-play with thoughtful, mature stories about life, death, society, faith, and the relationships we forge with our fellow men.

Speaking of "mature" stories, I should mention that this game is rated "12+" on the App Store, mostly for its harsh language and semi-nudity. For some reason, the Japanese version is also available to purchase for those of you with Android devices (if you're willing to put up with a higher price tag and the fact that it's in Japanese), and the Google Play Store's algorithm has given the Japanese version an officially-endorsed ESRB rating of Mature, for reasons of Violence, Partial Nudity, Language, and Simulated Gambling. I'm not entirely sure where the "Gambling" comes from, but like I said, your main concern in regards to mature content is going to be language and nudity. If you follow this play-through far enough, you might see a couple of demon asses, and a few demons who look a bit too much like giant cocks (and I ain't talking about Cockatrice). Did I mention some rough language? That, too. Oh, and also, there's the fact that this game gives you the opportunity to fight and kill fictional representations of many sacred figures taken from the beliefs of many world religions and cultures, including those of Abrahamic, Judeo-Christian tradition. That, too.

Now that I have your attention, let's get to the game!

This is the first post of the thread, but consider this post an "Introduction" rather than a "Part 1". Over the week, I was able to capture about three chapters' worth of screens. However, uploading them to the Internet in order to post them, and then adding commentary to them, is an arduous process, so instead of giving you a real episode right now, I am merely giving you a "taste" of what is to come. Contained in the spoiler are screen-captures of the cinematic introduction that plays when you boot up the game. These ominous pictures are interspersed with text being typed out on a black screen, which I will be including. Enjoy the ominousness.

Spoiler:




19XX Kichijoji, Tokyo

RESET:

SEI

CLC

XCE

CLD



X16

M8




LDX            #1FFFH

TXS



STZ            NMITIME

LDA            #BLANKING

STA            INIDSP



BJSR           ATLUS



`EL ELOHIM ELOHO ELOHIM SEBAOTH`

`ELION EIECH ADIER EIECH ADONAI`



`JAH SADAI TETRAGRAMMATON SADAI`



`AGIOS O THEOS ISCHIROS ATHANATOS`







SHIN. MEGAMI TENSEI




Please look forward to everything else I do for this thread!
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 4th March 2016, 4:54 pm

Alright, it's time for me to actually start this up. I might even have more time to devote to this for a little while because SPRING BREAAAAAAAAAAAK! WOO! It's my first spring break as a college student, so of course I'm gonna spend it like any college freshman would! RECORDING SCREENSHOTS OF JAPANESE IPHONE GAMES! WOOOOO!

Now, with that said, I have no plans or ambitions for any kind of schedule for this game. It took me about 40-50 logged hours to beat it the first time, which is not especially long by Shin Megami Tensei standards (I know, right???), so I hope to take this play-through entirely to the end. Who knows if I actually will?

I think I'm going to put a week's gap between these updates. This is not a weekly release schedule, mind you; all I said was that a week sounds like a nice, rounded number. Maybe two. Maybe a month or two. Maybe the rest of the updates will never receive a Western release despite Nintendo being fully capable of... whoops, I'm getting off-track.

Without any further ado, let's begin Shin Megami Tensei on iOS!

Spoiler:


As soon as I select "New Game", I appear in a pinkish corridor (heh) with a strange wavy kind of effect going on. Sooner than I can say "What the heck is this bullbaloney?" I start moving automatically. This isn't a straight path, however. There seem to be multiple paths, but I can only watch as my character goes down a seemingly-deliberate, specific order of twists and turns.

Every hall and corner in this place looks exactly the same; the same textures and modular pieces of geometry being repeated and reused over and over again. Why, I dare say that without a map, it would be extremely easy to find myself lost in this catacomb of identical textures with no scenery to speak of.

Get used to that! This is 19XX, after all.

Actually, watching myself move down this very specific path makes me wonder if I might recognize it later in the game...

After a while of this, I'm stopped in my tracks by a giant face attached to a stone wall that appears out of thin air right in front of me. I'm either dreaming or tripping out on some back-alley LSD right now, so either way, I don't think it's worth questioning. The game doesn't even give this thing a name.

> Speak to me thy name.

Thy name is Jack! No, I mean, my name is Jack! Why are we talking like this?



This is the name select screen. *sigh* Unfortunately, it looks like I'm gonna have to play this game like I played Pokemon as a small child, naming everything in all-caps so it reads like everybody is suddenly SHOUTING my name when they say it.

> Thou art JACK?

See what I mean? Now the face on the wall is yelling my name. Why did I even give it my name? I've never met this man... wall. Hell, this thing hasn't given me its name!

> If thou truly art JACK then thou hast hidden reserves of power.

Oh, so now it knows who I am? "Hidden reserves of power"? You're saying this like you know who I am, dude. What, do I have some sort of... potential... ?!!! OMG!! Are you talking about a Persona?!?!?! DO I GET A PERSONA?!?!?! KAWAII DESU NII~~~~

> Allocate your 18 bonus points to your stats.

Oh, that's slightly less exciting.



Looks like I can choose whether to bump up my "St", "In", "Ma", "Vi", "Ag", and "Lu". Y'know, the usual things you learn at school. Let me think carefully about how I want influence the build of my character early in the g--

> *dumps it all into Strength and Agility*

> JACK... What awaiteth thee past this door? The law of those upon whom the light shineth? Or the chaos of those who rely upon strength? Place them both on thy scale, and tread lightly so as not to drop them.

Law and chaos, huh? That doesn't sound like anything from Persona. Psh. Get back to me when you want to show me where the Velvet Room is. Peace.

So the face on the wall poofs out of existence, and I continue walking down this pink, wibbly-wobbly hall-way when all of a sudden a cross spins around as it descends to the floor in front of me. For some reason it reminds me a little bit of The Wizard of Oz, except if that movie was heavy in religious imagery and who the heck are you, sir?


Messenger of God: Call his name and he should awaken. Please call his name.

Whoa, dude. I don't even know this guy, and I certainly don't know what he's doing on a cross like that. I didn't buy a game with a Japanese title that I can't pronounce to see provocative religious imagery. Y'all have got some nerve. Actually, that gives me an idea for a name!

> *names him "Lief"*

Messenger of God: Was that LIEF you called him?

I don't know why you're shouting his name like that, but yeah.

Messenger of God: He has power hidden within.

Yeah, get in line, buddy. Just because he's trying to look like Jesus doesn't make you special. I suppose I'll allocate his stats, anyway.

> *puts it all in Strength and Magic*

That seems about right.


LIEF: So, you saved me? Something tells me I'll discover my purpose if I go with you... Please, let me come along.

> LIEF joined your party.

I "saved" you? Christ, what have I gotten myself into?

... Never mind. Whatever, you seem to be just as confused as I am. Let's walk and talk for a while, Mr. LIEF.



Say, Mr. LIEF, what's with that blue bar underneath your red bar? How come I don't get one of those? Wait, those scant few pixels next to it seem to be spelling something... "MP"? Hmm. That's almost like "SP" from Persona, but I guess it must be a different system since it has a different name.

Wait, what in the ever-loving heck is that?!


Demon: Go on, call his name.

Look, Mr. Demon, I don't know this naked man you are squatting on, but I guess in this wacked-out acid trip I'm experiencing right now, I seem to have a knack for knowing what people's names are. Let me try this again.

> *names him "Lux"*

Demon: Did I hear you call him LUX?
No, you should have heard me call him "Lux", in our indoor voice, but I'll let it slide because I'm sure demons are brought up with different manners.

Demon: He yet has latent power...

Yeah, yeah, I figured this was gonna happen...

> *puts it all in Strength and Agility*


LUX: Dammit... fine. You'd better lead me outta here, then.

> LUX joined your party.

Why do you think I know where to go?! I'm not even controlling my own movement right now!



Looks like Mr. LUX has that elusive "MP" bar as well... I wonder when I'm gonna get one of those. Actually, is that "HP" I see next to the red bar? Now that, I recognize! Now we're getting somewhere!

I wonder if I'm gonna see a naked lady in a spring at some point, just like in--



Boy, that was fast!



Your next Social Link, bay-bee! Just call me JACK-kun!



Whoa, she's skipping the honorifics. That usually doesn't happen until way later in the game... uh-oh, I think I've found the Devil Arcana.



Why don't you join my party, then? That'll make four of us, just like in--

At that moment, the game kicks me out of the room and I keep on my automatic path. "Yuriko" is not in my party, so it's still just me, LIEF, and LUX. That's alright, you usually start out with only three party members in--




Dammit! Don't you hate it when you're dreaming about bathing women and your mom wakes you up?

Mother's Voice: It's time to get up!

ALRIGHT, Mom, GOSH!



Oh, yeah? Does it seem like "Maya" wants to play Innocent Sin Online with me?



DDS-NET? Boy, this must be some Usenet-tier rudimentary stuff going on, considering the year is... 199X. "Stephen" doesn't sound like any Japanese name I've heard of, either. Here's the full transcript of his message.

DDS-NET
Date: 10/XX/199X
From: Stephen
To all those connected to the net... At present, we humans are facing an immense threat. The demons from legends and myths have awakened and are poised to attack. The only way to fight the demon threat is to make use of demons ourselves. This program is the key. I hope that some brave soul will take this program and rise up... The demons must be fought to save humanity.




Hey, I didn't want to down-load that! Can somebody say "virus"?!

> The message ends there.

... What the hell did I just read? "Demon Summoning Program"? "Save humanity"? "Awakened"? "Stephen"?

... "Off school"?!"October" instead of April?! This "Shin Megami Tensei" thing isn't gonna be like Persona at all, is it?!

Mother's Voice: JACK, aren't you up yet!?

Oh my GOODNESS, Mom, YES! Just stop YELLING my NAME!



At this point, the game presents me with the options "Computer", "Save", "Sleep", and "Leave Room". Which one will I choose? Find out next time, because I don't remember myself!

END OF CHAPTER 1

Thank you all for reading! Let's see where this takes us...
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by jokool on 4th March 2016, 7:48 pm

JACK! Just a reminder that try to keep the screenshots SFW. I know how these games can go...

Heck, pixelated naked lady back might even be a problem...

...But anyway, really good so far! Dunsparce Approves


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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 4th March 2016, 8:09 pm

@jokool wrote:JACK! Just a reminder that try to keep the screenshots SFW. I know how these games can go...

Heck, pixelated naked lady back might even be a problem...

...But anyway, really good so far! Dunsparce Approves

Jo, there's only so much common sense I can have left after spending 80 hours and counting with a game where the protagonist shoots himself in the head repeatedly to summon a giant green erection. Dogkekeke Jokes aside, I think it would be best if we all just make an agreement that this game is not appropriate for polite company and leave it at that. I'm happy to oblige if that's not satisfactory, of course.

Nevertheless, I'm glad you're enjoying it! I'm really excited to be sharing this game with everyone here at the Pit Stop. It's like this game, and this whole series, have fallen out of the sky for me to obsess over.
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Caprizant on 4th March 2016, 9:44 pm

Regarding our NSFW policy, it's actually one imposed by Forumotion that we like to play safe on because the worst-case scenario is deletion of the forum. :V

I'm not familiar with this series, though, so it's up to you to prepare for something like that. What you have so far seems within bounds.
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 4th March 2016, 11:26 pm

@Caprizant wrote:Regarding our NSFW policy, it's actually one imposed by Forumotion that we like to play safe on because the worst-case scenario is deletion of the forum. :V

I'm not familiar with this series, though, so it's up to you to prepare for something like that. What you have so far seems within bounds.

I understand. I think Mara (the big green cock monster) is in this game, but I never figured out how to fuse him, so the worst of it is probably out of the equation. Some of the demons may get a little racy, but I guess there's nothing I can do to convince America that polygonal heads exploding in bloody pieces is more objectionable than polygonal butts.
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by jokool on 5th March 2016, 1:01 pm

It's actually France you'd need to convince anyway. Dreaming


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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 24th March 2016, 7:34 pm

Alright, I've been putting off Chapter 2 for a while now because I've been in a rotten mood as a result of my computer deleting its own audio driver or some shit that I don't understand, but hey, why do we play video games if not to escape reality for a moment?

In the face of computer issues that I am powerless to fix, I would rather place myself in an alternate history version of a 1990s Tokyo facing the imminent apocalypse, so with that, it's Chapter 2 of my play-through of Shin Megami Tensei!

Spoiler:
Chapter 2 - "Opening doors and listening to people"

In the last chapter, I was just having a really great dream about naked ladies and pinkish corridors and a giant face on a wall yelling my name, when my mother woke me up abruptly. This chapter begins immediately after that moment. Us English majors call this "in media res", which is Latin for "morning wood".



I was sleeping quite well until you woke me up...

Mother: You slept so well that not even the noisy siren from the police cars woke you. I think something really bad happened...

I dunno, am I crazy, or is it kinda soothing to hear a loud noise from a far distance? I'm serious. I kinda like the sound of a suburban gangsta wanna-be turning up the bass on the sub-woofers occupying the space that used to be the back seats of his 1997 Subaru hatch-back, as long as it's far enough away that it doesn't make my windows rattle. Police sirens, too. I guess it makes me feel alive, I dunno. I'm probably stir-crazy.

Mother: Oh, I almost forgot. Here's your allowance for the month.



Ten thousand yen?!?! I think I can buy a candy bar with that!!!! Thanks, mom, you're the best!

Don't spend it all in one place. Actually... Can you get me some coffee from the cafe at the arcade? Thanks.

What kind of coffee do they sell at an arcade? Boy, Japan is weird, especially when viewed through the lens of a localization team who apparently thought that the idea of a "shopping mall" was too foreign for American audiences. Did shopping malls exist in 199X? I'm assuming so, if I have a home computer with e-mail capabilities. Speaking of which, let's blow off Mom's favor and check my e-mail.

> You successfully logged on.



Oh, great, it's another e-mail from this crazy "Stephen" guy. I wish I could just swipe left or leave him on "Seen", but this is 199X so we don't have that kind of hip lingo yet. Here's the full content of his e-mail.

Date: 10/XX/199X
From: Stephen

By now, you have the Demon Summoning Program. My next program isn't quite complete, so you'll have to be patient for that. Until then, the e-manual I'm sending for the Demon Summoning Program should explain how to use it.

> Downloading...

Using the Demon Summoning Program: This program allows you to talk and negotiate with demons, as well as summon demonds allied with you.

How to use:

Step 1: When you encounter a demon, select "TALK."

Step 2: Select a demeanor to present. You may choose to either be Friendly or Threatening. If a demon seeks your input, respond by giving 1 of the 2 given options...

> The message ends there.


So this guy wants me to talk to demons? What-freaking-ever. Like I'm ever gonna talk to a demon. There's no way this is foreshadowing to one of the core game-play elements of this role-playing game. Psshhhhh. Let's go outside.



You already said that, Mom.

Mother: I think something really bad happened...

You already... I guess Mom's getting old. Maybe she just needs her coffee. Let's go to the "arcade" and get it for her.



By that I mean let's select "Leave".



Mother: Don't let your guard down, JACK, and make sure you're not out too late, okay?

Don't worry, Mom, I'm a Japanese person of undetermined age or gender who attends some sort of educational institution. I'll be fine.

I stepped out the door to see...



... more of the house. Please excuse how barren it looks, it's because hardware limitations we're remodeling.

That door-way to my left is the door I just came out of. The door-way straight ahead is the front door, but the best part of the house is around that little corner next to the front door.


> Talk to him?

Heck yeah, I will! C'mere puppy ooh yoore sho kyoot hoosha gooboy hoosha gooboy



oo i know yoosha gooboy ooooooo yoo like dat tummy wubbed


Anyway, after talking to the dog, I decided to walk out the front door. Let's get a breath of fresh air and a look at the City That Never Spells "Restroom" Right, Tokyo!



Fun fact: This is actually a historically-accurate recreation of what the Kichijoji neighborhood looked like on October XX, 199X. Now you can see where the developers of Shenmue got their inspiration.

That big T-looking building on the eastern side of the screen is the "arcade", but for now, I'm gonna walk two shakes of a rabbit's tail down south, where my neighbor lives in the other house with the red roof.



'Ey, what's up, Doctor Next Door? I was just on my way to the "arcade" and I thought I'd say hi!

Doctor Next Door: If you're looking for my daughter, she went out.

Why-- Aww, c'mon, Doc, I wasn't thinking about your daughter, I just wanted to say hi! Hah, hah, you still aren't used to me, are ya, Doc? Hah.

Let's go in his daughter's room and see what we can find.



The game doesn't give me the option "Panty Raid", so we're going back outside.

Referring back to the map you saw earlier, do you see those little gray X-looking things in the middle of the streets leading out of Kichijoji? I'm gonna go see what that's all about.


Policeman: We ask for your cooperation.

"Culprit"? "Culprit" of what? Wait, I didn't even peek in her closet, I swear! I'm innocent, I tell you, inn--

Oh, y'know, this must have something to do with the sirens Mom was talking about. It probably has nothing to do with me, then. It still makes my imagination run wild to know that there's a criminal of this apparent caliber in my neighborhood... Maybe Mom isn't so paranoid to be worrying about me right now.

From here, it's back to the over-world map and then east, to the "arcade" where Mom's coffee awaits.



Boy howdy, this place is big! You don't really need to know the purpose of all these doors, just imagine that I'm in "RPG kleptomaniac exploration mode" for a while starting here.



Whatever you say, rude man. How's that for a first impression? Note to self: "Ozawa" is now on my shit-list.


Man: You know what he's really selling in there, right?

What, is it coffee beans? Come to think of it, I don't see any games to play in this "arcade"! What's this town's deal!? What kind of "arcade" is this? Are the game cabinets in the toilets?! Are the coin slots in the baby changing stations?!!?

At some point, I walked into a place called the "Survivalist Shop". Sounds like my mom's kind of place.



Finally, a man who's making some sense around here!

Survivalist Shop Clerk: Now, what do you want?

Before I make a decision, I want you to tell me how long coffee beans can last in a survival situation. Hell, with this police cordon going on, I might need to stock up on some things that'll last me a few years, like honey and Maruchan ramen! Hah!



Most shops in this game will give you these options. Being an RPG kleptomaniac, I'll probably only ever use the "Buy" function.



Oh, this guy sells body armor. I'm sure the canned goods and magical Orgone cure-all bullshit crystals are somewhere in the back.

I bought a Hunting Vest and maybe a couple other things, but I remembered I needed to prioritize Mom's coffee first and decided to leave with some yen left in my pocket.

Survivalist Shop Clerk: Thank you very much


You, too! Wait, what?

Eventually, I sauntered into a drug store.


Drug Store Clerk: What do you want?

She doesn't have any coffee, so I'm not interested in petty things like medicine. I left without buying anything.

Drug Store Clerk: Thank you, and please come again.

Sorry for window-shopping, miss! I'll be back once we get that medicinal Mary Jane legalized, right? WOooooooooo! Don't be surprised if my foot suddenly hurts a lot after the ballots are collected, whoop whoop!

Finally, I arrived at the cafe.



It's got maids and everything! Tokyo is so weird and cool!

This cafe is packed with folks who are chomping at the bit to have one-sided expositional conversations with me, and I'll be showing all of them. Again, I'm still in "RPG kleptomaniac exploration mode".



Hmm. Maybe he's gone stir-crazy from this police cordon going on. Still, half a day is a pretty embarrassing time to clock in to the loony bin.

Okay, so is this police cordon really weird, or is it just me? I mean, I've been in the epicenter of a few man-hunts in my life (not the target of any, mind you), and none of them resulted in the quarantining of a whole neighborhood. Well, the '90s were a pretty dark time in Japanese history. They don't call it the "Lost Decade" for nothing. Something sinister is afoot... and it's not me.

Let's just get some coffee and listen to some more of the vox populi (that's Latin for "'90s alternative radio"). I walked up to the bar, put my elbow on the counter, put my other hand on my hip, and tapped on the counter twice with three fingers and called out "Bartendah" a little too loud, because I've always wanted to do that.

Bartender: Oh, hi there, JACK. You're here for your usual coffee beans, right?

Nah, it's fer the mom. She's ben itchin' fer this coffee o' yers. She's all antsy this mornin', talkin' 'bout police sirens and what-not, she's been on edge, y'know.



Coffee with zero down? Yer a miracle worker, my friend. Looks like I can spend the rest o' this 10 grand on drinks an' the ol' lady'll be none the wiser! Huffaw!



Y'know, the thought just crossed my mind, that apparently the localization team felt the need to replace "mall" with "arcade", but my friend the bartender here is unaffected! Tch. Who localized this, Nintendo Treehouse?

Spoiler:


I decided to leave the bar. Then I did something that I seem to do all the time when I play video games; I immediately turned around and went back to the area I just left because I thought of something I wanted to do there.

Bartender: Welcome... Oh, it's you, JACK. Care for a drink?

Gimme yer finest Blue Mountain, brother. It's hard bein' a Japanese person of undetermined gender and age, attendin' an educational institution of some sort.

I drank the "Blue Mountain", but nothing happened. Seems like I'll need something harder fer my nerves today. I only have so much allowance in my wallet, though, so I can't afford another drink today. You know the struggle, right? Ahhhhh. I don't get no respect.

I selected "Talk". Tell me a story, Mr. Bartender.

Bartender: The sirens last night were loud, huh? What, you didn't hear 'em?

Nahhhhh. When I get home from my educational institution of some sort, my friend, I'm out like a light. I come home to da mom, an' then it's just plop onto my bed an' I'm out. I had a great dream last night, though. Dere wuz dis gorgeous babe, man, an' it just told me: I gotta get outta dis Special Administrative Ward, man. Looks like I can't, wit dis police business goin' on, though. Funny how dese things work. Ahhhhh, well, what da hell ya gonna do. I'll see ya 'round, my friend.

Bartender: See you soon.

After pretending to be a tough, grizzled man for a fleeting moment, I bumped into a "classmate" and I came back to reality, realizing I'm probably a high-schooler in this game. Just like in Per--


Girl: I'm scared.

Whoa, what?! What's this about a girl who died? You mean this "culprit" the police are talking about is a murderer?! We have a murderer in Kichijoji and we're stuck here?! What the hell?!?!?!

I think I'm starting to get scared, too, pal... I'm gonna go get a second perspective on this. You there, do you--


Yuriko: Hmhmhm...

Gah! What the hell?! I thought you were only a perverted fantasy! Now this is awkward... and it doesn't make sense!

After the game kicked me out of that square, I immediately turned around to go back and confront this "Yuriko". I had so many questions; who she was, how she was in my dream and remembered it, why she thinks she's supposed to be some big part of my life, how big those--



Jeez! This is too much! I thought this was a no-strings arrangement, lady, but now you're wanting to spend time with me, thinking that we're some kind of "item" now, magically teleporting away in the middle of a crowded cafe... This is a commitment I'm not prepared to make.

I decided to walk around the cafe some more to get my mind off of this.



Yeah, as of a few seconds ago! Did you hear that I have a creepy supernatural stalker on my tail?! AHHHHHHHHHHHH



Umm... sure?

> JACK found Snake Charm.

... Good to know.

NOW CAN I PLEASE JUST GO HOME AND DRINK SOME COFFEE WITH MY MOM AND TALK TO MY DOG AND DEACTIVATE MY E-MAIL ACCOUNT AND NEVER GO OUTSIDE AGAIN AHHHHHHHHHHHHH



Oh, finally! Something less stressful to take my mind off of all this! Thank god!

Before that, though, I popped my head in the rest of the doors left in the "arcade".


Man: It was creeping me out, though, so I deleted it soon after. I hear the file's somehow ending up on people's computers. Have you checked yours?

Yep, that was the beginning of this crazy, terrible day... At this point, I think a crazy man e-mailing me is the least of my worries. It's probably just some chain mail like all those Nigerian princes or all those millions of dollars that Bill Gates is giving away. Did Bill Gates have a fortune in 199X? Ugh, I don't even care! I just wanna go to bed and dream about-- UGHHHHHHHH


Knife Shop Clerk: They're all top-quality.

Here's a shop I happened upon. If only we banned knives, then crazy men wouldn't hang out behind drug stores with knives! Am I right? VOTE KANYE WEST 2020

Knife Shop Clerk: Thank you very much. Just don't use our goods to hurt others!

No! Don't baby me with your education! Only regulation can sway the public toward the right thing! LISTEN TO THE KIDS YO


Antique Store Clerk: You buyin' something?

See, here's a guy who could stand to listen to the kids. All of his items had weird names and were way too expensive for me to get on Mom's allowance, so I left.

Antique Store Clerk: I can't sell anything to someone who doesn't have an eye for things.

Oh, what-freaking-ever, old man. You've got an attitude almost as crappy as that Ozawa guy.

That's everything that's in the arcade. All that's left is the crazy guy with a knife behind the drug store.



You! You're the guy who's taking pictures of Rise-chan! Where is she? Where's the TV you use to throw people in-- Sorry, the events of that game won't happen for another twenty years... hopefully.

Man: Don't come any closer! I have a knife... ! N-Nnrgh... Hrrrgh, gaaaaaah... !



WHAT IN THE BLUE MOTHER OF FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS TOWN

The "Preta" thing lunged at me, the screen shook violently (really earning this game its M rating) and then...

> The Preta runs away...

Let me get this straight: We have a murderer, a magical teleporting stalker, and a monster of Hindu myth capable of ripping a man inside out, all running around loose in this neighborhood! Let it be known that October XX, 199X, is officially the Worst Day Ever!


> JACK obtained Attack Knife.

Yeah, that's what I should do! Just walk up to the scene of a murder, pick up the murder weapon and walk away. Great idea, JACK!

Walking around the "arcade", I noticed that stinkin' Preta rat bastard took out some of my health bar! I went to the cafe and bought a drink to see if it would give me some HP, and I was right, but the effect wasn't that pronounced.



C'mon! I spent like a hundred-something yen on that drink! That's how they getcha...

After being attacked by a supernatural beast, I decided to go outside, another great idea from JACK.



That tubular building to the north is the "arcade". Down south there is the train station. Maybe I'll just hop on a train and get the hell out of this crazy hood! That's the best idea I've had all day!


"All train services are currently suspended."

Oh, of course they are! Looks like it's back to wandering aimlessly, emotionally drained, around this crazy town...



That's the train station to the west. That bluish-looking building to the east is the hospital. Maybe I'll check myself into the Psych Ward! That's the second-best idea I've had all day!

> Hospital...

"> Gekkoukan High School, Gymnasium... You decided to spend time with"... Sorry.



Well, perhaps this is for the best, considering that woman at the cafe told me the man in charge here has lost his marbles. I wonder why? Today's just a normal day in Kichijoji, right?!!?



There's a building with a red roof in the middle of the park there... has it always been there? Maybe-- No, that's where my classmate was murdered, apparently... I just wanted to talk to a police officer anyway, maybe he'll point me in the direction of someplace that isn't completely screwed up.

> Inogashira Park...


Finally, some news that I'm not disappointed to hear. I just wanna go home... right after I walk up to the other side of the train station...

> Echo Building...

... which is apparently called the Echo Building. A real Kichijoji land-mark, I wonder?


> The door is closed.

ID Card? To go to a train station? I can buy a drink at the bar but I can't ride a train out of this crazy town? What-freakin'-ever... I walked all the way home.

Mother: Oh, hi, JACK. How have you been?

Mother: Did you hear? A girl was killed in Inogashira Park.

Mother: Oh, and don't forget to walk Pascal.

Oh, great! So my classmate was murdered, I got a supernatural stalker, I saw a man get torn apart by a demon right in front of me, I'm stuck in a closed-off neighborhood with all of this happening, and I have to walk the dog!!!!!!

October XX, 199X, is the Worst Day Ever. I shouldn't have woken up this morning. I'm going to bed. Good night.

That was a lot to write, not to mention a lot of comedy to attempt! Don't expect an entry of this length for a long while. You'd better enjoy it!
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Lief Katano on 24th March 2016, 7:44 pm

i just want to state that, for the record, if you look at the official art the protagonist isn't of intermediate gender



Please play Final Fantasy Record Keeper | RW: Ramza Soul Break: Shout (241 MND) ID: SGuM
This is great!
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 24th March 2016, 7:50 pm

@Lief Katano wrote:i just want to state that, for the record, if you look at the official art the protagonist isn't of intermediate gender

Well, intermediate gender would mean that the protagonist is somewhere between male and female, whatever special snowflake lingo Tumblr has shat out for that, but if what you meant was undetermined gender, then you have a point.

English sucks, we should all move to Japan!
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 31st March 2016, 5:58 pm

Prepare to be disappointed, everybody, because Chapter 3 is really really short! I don't know why I decided to make this one so short as I was recording it. Maybe I remembered all of the crazy stuff that's about to happen...

Us English majors call that "foreshadowing", which is English for "click-bait". It's Chapter 3 - "Another Dream About a Girl"!

Spoiler:
When I last left off, I grappled with a gauntlet of shocking revelations, such as:
1) One of my class-mates was murdered and the killer is still in this town (this is totally ripped off from Persona 4);
2) There's a man-eating demon running loose in Kichijoji and if this "Stephen" guy is to be believed, that's not the only one;
3) I have an attractive older woman chasing after me, which would usually be a good thing, but this lady somehow experienced my dreams and teleported out of sight in the middle of a crowded cafe, and that's just 2spooky4me; and
4) I have to walk the dog and my mom still hasn't gotten her FREAKING coffee.

I'm going to do what I always do when faced with several problems at once...



... I'm gonna go to sleep.



'Night, mom. (That's short for "good night, mom," hence the apostrophe.)

> JACK went to sleep...



Aw, give me a break! I'm tired of these messed-up dreams!



That's what I'm saying! Let's just hope that I don't run into--



SON OF A DICK! I told you, Yuriko, I'm afraid of commitment! It's not you, it's me! There's someone else! Okay, that one's a lie... but just go away!

Yuriko: Remember... I'm always by your side.

Man, this lady is creepy. After she's done being creepy, I start going down an automatic path just like the other dream (except this time I can't make a "pinkish corridor" joke 'cause it's blue), but Yuriko's name doesn't show up next to LIEF and LUX at the bottom of the screen, so hopefully we've lost her. Let's just hope nothing too crazy is behind this door I'm being rail-roaded through...



I just had to say it.


LIEF: Are they trying to summon a demon?

Uh, what brings you to that conclusion? Are you... particularly familiar with demon-summoning rituals?



Well, I can't imagine what they're sacrificing this blue girl for, but I don't really care, either.

> The girl is being sacrificed. Will you save the girl?

Yeah! If there's anything video games have taught me, it's to rush into confrontational situations head-first regardless of experience or preparedness!

LUX: Hey, the guy in back has a sword, and we got nothing! You're nuts!

I don't care, let's do this LEEEEEROOOOOYYYYYYYYYY--

Priest: Who's there!? Who dares meddle in the ritual!?

'Tis I, your new opponent whom shall smite your ass verily! My name is--

Girl: JACK! You came to save me... ! Quick, call my name!

Uh, I haven't said my name yet, but if you know my name somehow, then I bet I know your name somehow!

I named her "Solar", which the game read as SOLAR. Have fun with all-caps for the rest of the game, SOLAR!

Priest: What!? This girl's name is SOLAR... !?

Look, I know it's not something you'd find in a book of baby names, but she didn't choose it, so just roll with it.

Priest: Th-That name... it's... Gwrahhhhhh!

Oh, come on, dude, you're embarrassing her. Look, it's not as bad as "Crystal" spelled "Kcrryszdtuhll" or something.


SOLAR: They nearly sacrificed me. If the ritual had finished, they would have summoned a fearsome archdemon... Ahh, I can feel my lost power flowing back to me.

> Allocate 18 bonus points to her stats.


> *dumps everything into Magic*

SOLAR: We won't meet for some time. It's fated that we part for now. But when the day arrives, come find me.

Look, this isn't against you personally, but last time I met a woman in my dreams, she started trying to tie me down into a commitment, and then she started teleporting all over the place... I wasn't ready for that. I need some time to cool off. You understand, right? Now go put some skin on... or something. Why are we all blue again?

Mother's Voice: JACK? Aren't you up yet? Just because you're off school doesn't mean you can sleep all day! It's time to get up!

Wait for it...

Mother's Voice: It's time to get up!

There's the second one! I swear that's this game's tag-line or something. Was it on the back of the Super Nintendo box, I wonder?

> You seem to have received a message on your PC.



Oh, look, my favorite start to every morning, an e-mail from "Stephen". Lookit, though! Now the e-mail is dated October XY, 199X! This game's dedication to continuity is unreal. Now here's the transcript of Stephen's e-mail.

DDS-NET
Date: 10/XY/199X
From: Stephen

I've completed my auto-mapping program, so I'll send it to you.

> Downloading...
> You have received the auto-mapper.

> The message ends there.


Well, that wasn't nearly as schizophrenic as his previous two e-mails.

Mother's Voice: JACK? Aren't you up yet!?

HOLY SHIT MOM YEAH WHATEVER JUST LET ME CHECK MY E-MAIL AGAIN

Surprisingly, I have another new message from Stephen.



Date: 10/XY/199X
From: Stephen
Attn: The recipient of my auto-mapping program.

I'm sending you an e-manual for the program. Please accept the download.

> Downloading...

Using the Auto-Mapper: This program will record the paths you take and display them onscreen. The following is a legend to the icons used:

- V: Current position
- VI: Entrance/Exit
- VII: Stairs up
- VIII: Stairs down
- IX: Elevator

Please remember that this program cannot display any areas where you haven't yet traversed...

> The message ends there.


... What, don't look at me! I don't know what those numerals are supposed to mean.

With Stephen's fourth cryptic e-mail, I decided to stop being a shut-in and walk out of my room.


Mother: Sounded like a girl's name! Was it SOLAR next door? Hey, why are you blushing? I'm just teasing, honey.

... I decided to go back to my room. No new messages from Stephen. Time to endure my mom's teasing again, I guess...


Mother: I'm so glad you were a boy, JACK.

That's funny, my mom in real life says the same exact thing. Must be the patriarchy.

I decided to venture out of the house and try to confront the outside world again... Actually, I'm probably just gonna go to the neighbor's place and hit on the doctor's daughter. "Hey, SOLAR, that was some crazy dream, right?" Yeah, that'll work.

Mother: Don't let your guard down, JACK, and make sure you're not late, okay?

Alright, alright, I know. Bye, mom. I hope you get your coffee soon.

Sorry this chapter is so short! I might make up for it next chapter! I don't remember how long it is! Bye!
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 9th April 2016, 12:31 am

To the dismay of everyone, this fourth chapter is a fair bit longer than last week's. If you need a recap, basically last week's chapter was spent sleeping after the insane crap-show that was chapter 2. Japanese high-schooler JACK had a dream about saving a girl named SOLAR from a bunch of devil worshipers (or whatever they were), which Mom mistook for just tossing and turning and calling out the name of the Doctor Next Door's daughter, whom apparently (and conveniently) is named SOLAR. In this chapter, the day is now October XY, 199X, and I'm going to go talk to the doctor's daughter for no nefarious reasons whatsoever, and also nothing scary and supernatural will happen, nope, certainly not.

Spoiler:
CHAPTER 4 - "JACK Should Not Have Woken Up This Morning"



After having a nice little chat with Pascal, I decided to go over to the neighbor's house to see if his daughter is home.


Doctor Next Door: SOLAR? JACK's here to see you.

SOLAR's Voice: Okay! I'll be right there!


Contrary to what I was led to believe, SOLAR did not join us in the doctor's room, so I barged into her room, of course. Of course!


SOLAR: Huh? A dream? I don't remember having any dreams... I had a date set for today, but I won't be going anywhere now thanks to the police. Who with... ? What's it matter to you who I date?

Umm, excuse you, SOLAR, I'm just making sure you weren't accidentally setting up a date with a demon! You know how crazy these past two days have been.

Y'know, this makes me wonder if the police cordon really is a good thing. Plus the train station being closed? If they would just open the train station and ask us a few questions like "Are you a demon?" and "Are you a murderer?" then we'd all be out of here!

The most disconcerting part of all this, however, is that apparently SOLAR doesn't remember being in a dream with me. So far the only person from the dreams I've tracked down is Yuriko, which is... not a good omen. Is "SOLAR" a common Japanese girl's name... ?

On my way down a road to nowhere, I bumped into a group of cops maintaining the cordon.



Well, jeez, these cops are getting a little irritable, am I right? I suppose I would be as well, if I were assigned to keep a bunch of innocent people locked into a single neighborhood with teleporting stalkers and schoolgirl murderers running around. Hey, TPD, do you know what would make everyone happy! Lifting the cordon!!!

Ugh... let's go to the arcade, I guess. I got attacked by a demon last time I was here, so it can only get better now, right? Sleeping last night apparently restored my health, so with my Attack Knife and my Hunting Vest, I think I'm prepared for anything October XY will throw at me.

Speaking of demons, I visited the spot where I was attacked yesterday. Great idea, right? However, instead of perhaps finding police tape like I would in a sane society, this is 199X Kichijoji, so of course I bump into a man who knows my name and wants to warn me about something.



Oh, great. Does this whole neighborhood know who I am or something? Why am I so popular around these parts? Usually this would be a good thing, much like having a woman chasing after me, but of course I should be careful what I wish for because last time I did, Yuriko is what I got. Seriously, why do I seem to be so special right now?

Drained and feeling no better today than I did yesterday, I walked into the cafe. The waitress said "welcome", I made a bee-line for the bar, and then--



A DEMON OR SOME SHIT? HELLO? ANYONE? RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAFE?



Let's talk this out. This thing appears to be a walking mannequin or something? Great, so it should understand English - sorry, Japanese. Right?



Well, great, one more reason to justify my irrational hatred of mannequins.



After that brush with... whatever that was, I frantically ran around the cafe, trying to see if anybody at all would react to the fact that I just got harassed by a walking mannequin in the middle of this establishment.



Airsoft shop? I don't remember there being an airsoft shop in this "arcade". Also, uh, did you just see me being attacked by a walking mannequin? Yeah, that was a thing, so uh, just keep your eyes out. I think delinquents loitering about an airsoft shop are the least of your worries right now.

You there, ma'am, did you see what just happened?


Woman: I can't go anywhere like this.

So this crisis has affected places outside of Kichijoji? That makes me feel better, in a selfish, existential kind of way. But y'know what's a little more urgent than the trains being unavailable? Try getting attacked by a walking mannequin! Hello?!!?

Hey, unnamed class-mate, did you see what just happened to me?



Well, you tell this "Ozawa" character that JACK says he'd better step off!

... Hey, wait a second! Ozawa was the name of the guy who told me to get the hell out when I walked into the room where he was hanging around with his homies! I knew that guy was up to no good. Never trust a man with a slicked-back pony-tail, friends.

Speaking of people who creeped me out yesterday, I decided to investigate the spot where Yuriko was creeping around yesterday.



I don't know why that first sentence ended with a question mark, but doesn't the Echo Building just kinda exist in the back door of the train station? Maybe it's the other way around. Oh, by the way I WAS ATTACKED BY A WALKING MANNEQUIN WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT? NOTHING? COOL.

You there, miss! What do you make of this?



... Yyyyyyeah, that's kinda been the talk of the town these past few days, from what I gather. You know what nobody seems to be talking about though? The fact that there are demons and A WALKING MANNEQUIN THAT JUST ATTACKED ME! JEEZ! ROLE-PLAYING GAMES IN THE YEAR 199X, I SWEAR!

Frustrated and distraught as I constantly have been these past few days, I stepped out of the cafe. No sooner had the waitress said "thanks" and "take care" than guess freaking what happened?



Thankfully, I took it by surprise. Sure? Well, in terms of down-and-dirty game-play, what this means is that I'm guaranteed escape if I want to run away, and I get a free turn at the start of the fight. So as you can see, it takes a few cues from Persona.

This is a perfect opportunity to select "Fight" and show you what the battle options are. No fooling around trying to "Talk" to this thing. Thanks, Stephen!



Ahhhhhh, crap. You see how "Sword", "Gun", and "Item" are all grayed out? That's because I can't use any of those. I don't have any items in my inventory, I ain't packin' any heat, and apparently I have no sword... but didn't I pick up an Attack Knife from the dead hands of a freshly-killed man? Whatever. I have no choice but to "Defend" or "Comp". Let's see what "Comp" is all about.



Summon demons? You mean like in my dream? Probably another one of "Stephen's" hair-brained ideas. Let's not open that can of worms right this second...

I mashed the B button to get back to the menu which allows me to "Escape", which as I said, is guaranteed because I sneaked up on this Kugustard or whatever it's called. This is determined randomly, by the way. Role-playing games in the year 199X, I swear!

I ran away successfully and then wondered why I couldn't attack that thing even though I have an Attack Knife. Then it hit me. (Not the knife, I mean I had an idea.)



A couple of menus later, I made my way to the equipment screen. This is what I have on my person right now, affecting my stats on the right. Notice the distinct lack of a bladed weapon in my hand? The Hunting Vest is equipped because I automatically equipped it when I bought it from the Survival Shop, but the Attack Knife, I need to manually equip. Here's what that looks like.



That huge void of blue space will eventually be filled up with equippable weapons as I get further in the game and carry around what should be 15 metric tons of crap with no side effects. Role-playing games in the year 199X, mate.

Do you see the stats that have turned blue on the right there? Those are stats that will increase to the amount shown if I equip the Attack Knife. It's a hell of a lot better than 0 like it was, so I pressed A, and with that, I'm now actually ready to fight!



Well, would ya look at that? A zombie to cut up. Really creative, Shin Megami Tensei. If this turns out to just be another zombie apocalypse game, I'm gonna be really disappointed.



OH JEEZ ROLE-PLAYING GAMES IN THE YEAR 199X

*a few minutes later*



I managed hack the zombie to death with my knife, and I got 2 MAG (whatever that is!), 8 EXP (I wonder what that could be!), and 96 yen (I wonder if anything in Tokyo can be bought with 96 yen!).

I took a little hit to my HP, so I'm gonna go do what everybody does when they lose HP in real life.



> But it had no effect.

I took a screen-shot of the one item on the menu that doesn't recover HP. The game doesn't tell me which drink does what. That's how my bar tab builds up, I tell ya!

> JACK drank the Blended down.
> JACK recovered some HP.
> JACK drank the Blue Mountain down.
> JACK recovered some HP.


I decided to chat up the bartender. It happens when you're in the bar as long as I usually am.


Owner: They've blocked off the place because of it. Though I hear it'll be open again soon. The strange thing is, there's a weird old guy at the entrance to the park now. Care for a drink?

I've spent enough here already, bahtendah. I'm gonna go see this "weird old guy" you speak of. To Inogashira Park, the place where my class-mate was murdered! Another great idea from Mr. JACK!



Aw, crap, a demon! This isn't the most flattering picture of a Pixie, because her animation consists of her wings flicking in and out of view. Yeah, this game has animated sprites, twenty years before Devil Survivor just used static portraits! Stop making weeb garbage and go back to making real Shin Megami Tensei games, Atlus! GOSH, you guys suck! Now can we get SMT IV Final in English, pretty please... ?

Anyway, I'm just glad this thing isn't a mannequin or a zombie this time, so maybe I'll be able to talk to her.



Um, ugh! Rude. I won't do this every time, but here's a transcript of what demon negotiation looks like in this game.

Spoiler:
First, I tried to be friendly. As "Stephen" told me, I can choose to be either "Friendly" or "Threatening".

> The demon is ignoring you.
It gave me the choice to either "Ignore" or "Say name". I decided to proclaim my name, as if that would impress her, or something.

"I know you! So, what do you want?"



This is what you're looking for in a negotiation. When the demon is willing to listen to you, you can either "Make ally", ask for money, ask for Magnetite (whatever that is!), or "Chase away". I chose "Make ally" because I kinda want a demon so I don't get my ass kicked alone.

"Huh... ? Then... I want your life! Haa!"
The enemy suddenly attacked!


There are actually two Pixies in front of me right now, indicated by the little white stick figures at the top of the screen. This means when I get attacked, I get attacked twice! One of the Pixies took a chunk out of my HP, and the other did this.



This attack makes me "Happy", which is probably the stupidest side effect ever in a role-playing game. I'm not really sure what it does, but it makes my little stick figure turn yellow and strike a funky pose there.

I tried to be friendly again.

> Pixie is taunting you.
I can choose to either "Smile" or "Pretend to flinch". I chose to crack a cheeky grin.

"What a funny face. Haa!"

It kicked me it out of the dialog here and wouldn't let me get back in. It's not a sudden attack, so I can retaliate, but for now I'll just defend.

... Until I failed another negotiation and decided to ramp up the tension by killing one of the Pixies with my knife. Bitches get stitches.

This time, I decided to be threatening. How I manage that, the game mercifully doesn't detail.

"Kyahahahaha!"
> Pixie laughs at you.


The game gives me the option to either "Smile back" or "Stop laughing", which I'm assuming is what I say to the Pixie, because I'm certainly not laughing right now. Yo, Pix, shut yer yap!

"Close your eyes, and I'll give you something reeeeeal nice."

You ain't got nuthin fer me. Yer like three inches tall. Pass.

"I'm bored!"

Shut up!

"I'm scared..."
> Pixie is being cautious.


Now that's more like it. See how the tables have turned? The game wants me to either "Approach" or "Glare". I decided to glare at the Pixie. I'm secretly scared of pissing it off again...

"Stupid! Haaa!"

Well, looks like I offended her anyway. I defended for a turn and went back to threatening for the next dialog chance.

"Ooh! Tease me more!"
> Pixie is sucking up to you.


The game wants me to either "Get angry" or "Ignore it". Getting angry is exactly what she wants me to do, so I ignore it.

"Screw you!"
> This is becoming very awkward.


I'll say, but the dialog options don't help. I can either "Say name" or... "Sing". What? I'll just declare my name again.

"Oh, really? Well, I don't know you."
> Pixie left.


SHIT! That's this game, folks. Negotiation sometimes gets you nothing. You can't get every cute little demon girl on your side. Remember that, fellas.

After that train wreck of a negotiation, I still gained experience from the Pixie I killed.



Well, look at that! Now I can show you the level-up screen.



Every level I can choose one characteristic to assign one more point, which raises certain stats. This time, I went with "Lu", because it raised up both my "ACC" and my "EVA". That's right, you get to pilot Evangelion units in this game.



With this screen-shot I guess I could show you that yellow bar thingy above the party slots. It starts out blue, as you might have noticed, but as you take steps, it slowly gets closer and closer to red, until finally a random encounter is triggered. It might remind you of Etrian Odyssey, and this is probably where they got the idea from.

Mostly though, I took this screen-shot because the Moon phase radar glitched out and lost its blue background for a second here. See it in the top-left corner? Funny, right? Can you believe that's one of the only glitches I've ever had in this game? Shin Megami Tensei games are remarkably air-tight when it comes to glitches. The worst that's ever happened to me is some text trailing off-screen in this game and Devil Survivor 2, very briefly. AAA publishers, take note.

I suppose I could also take a minute to explain the Moon phases, but... nah.



Okay, now we're going to Inogashira Park!

Inogashira Park...

Old Man: Are you JACK?



Old Man: No matter which way it leans, the result will be the same. What would you do? Either way, there is no turning back now. Let me see your strength.

Law and chaos, you say? A giant face on a wall talked to me about that stuff the other night, in a dream. So, how am I going to show you my...




... Oh. Another dream. So this is messed-up dream number... three? Yeah. Let's ride the automated path wherever it takes us, I guess...




Mom, it's only a dream, this'll be over in a jiff. I don't see Yuriko anywhere, so I think I'm okay.



... Mom, it's only a dream.

The automated path sent me through the door behind Mom.



A demon summoning ritual, perhaps? Eh, seen it.



Yeah, I was right. He's trying to get his demon homies to come out from "the Expanse". What is that? Whatever. I'll kick its ass.



Uh, I had no choice. So there ya go. But let's get to the real question here... who are those two guys shaking around those sticks with ballot stubs on them?

Summoner: Sadly for you, you've seen the ritual. Which means I can't let you live...

Oh, whatever, I'll kick your ass! You wanna step outside, brother?! LEMME TELL YA SOMETHIN BROTHER, I--



Oh, shoot. You weren't like that when I showed up here. What is it with these demons taking on human disguises? This is why I have trust issues.

Whatever, I'll kick your ass, as soon as I see what LIEF and LUX can do with their magic stuff!

Well, I have a sword (I think it's the Attack Knife, but this is a dream so I don't really know), and LIEF has a gun, so I wanna see what that does, too. LUX will hit this "Douman" guy with magic.



Kill it with fire and all that! That's a meme, right?



Yeah, go LUX!

> But it missed!

DAMMIT, GET IT TOGETHER, LUX!



*EFFORT VOICE*

> Dealt 8 damage to Douman.

Is that good? I dunno yet, but you bet I'm gonna cut him again next turn!



Is that a freaking TIDAL WAVE OF FIRE JEEZUS OH GOD

LUX and myself got hit for about half of our HP! Holy crap! LIEF, apparently being a total bad-ass, dodged the wall of fire and then shot Douman for 4 damage, of which again, I'm unsure of the significance. However, after that, the screen went white and I was booted out of the battle. What the heck?



Oh, c'mon, Old Man, I totally could have killed that guy! Just give me a chance!

Old Man: If fate wills it, you will surely encounter him again. Take caution when you do...

Oh, yeah, "fate", whatever, I'll kick fate's ass too!



Weirdly, the road block that had previously prevented me from walking around Inogashira Park went away after I talked to the old man. I don't really want to enter a strange building in a park where a girl from my school was murdered a few days ago, though. That sounds like something a stupid RPG protagonist would do, and we all know I'm not a stupid RPG protagonist!

After all of this nonsense was over with, by myself on the streets of Kichijoji again, I decided to go back to Pascal and Mom.

However, I was stopped in my tracks on my way...

Policeman: Hold it right there. You must JACK.

Uh, yeah, I am. Do you have some questions for me or something?



Yo, what the fuck?! What's the meaning of this! I plead the fifth! I have the right to an attorney! I'll kick your ass!

After a minute of kicking and screaming...



Fuck you, pig! You can't even give me a cup to rattle across the bars?! Eat shit!

Trapped in place, I noticed that I was sharing my cell with a young man in an obnoxious red jacket. If I'm gonna survive the rough-and-tumble prison pecking order, I need to assert my dominance immediately, so I went to go assault him randomly for no reason. I learned this behavior from television.




... Uh, y-yeah, dat's wut my bottom bitches call me! Wutzittooya!?



... Oh, wow. You're the guy I've been sharing my dreams with? Does this mean I'm gonna meet LUX and SOLAR #2 soon?

LIEF: JACK, you have to listen to me.

Yeah, okay, sorry. I can't think straight right now.

LIEF: My girlfriend's gone missing. I tried to find her, but I was attacked by demons... While I was fighting them off, the police came and arrested me. I need to hurry and find my girlfriend... Could you help me find her?

The game gave me a "Yes" or "No" option. I mean, I don't want to say "no", but I wish I could make it clear that my top priority is to see if my mom is alright. I mean, if folks are seemingly being arrested indiscriminately, who knows where my mom is right now!? Oh god-- is Pascal in jail too!?!?

Sorry, sorry - yeah, LIEF. I'll help you find your girl. I mean, it's bound to get us out of here, most importantly.

LIEF: Really? Thank you so much.

> LIEF has joined your party.


Sweet! You have a gun, right?

LIEF: My girlfriend's name is SOLAR.

Well, LIEF, this has just been a day of non-stop coincidences...

What? You're SOLAR's neighbor, JACK? You live right next to her...

Yep... Wait, does this mean you're the date that SOLAR was talking about this morning? I'm supposed to kick your ass!

Well, anyway, we need to think of a way to get out of here.

Uh... yeah, that's more important right now. SOLAR totally gave me the cold shoulder anyway.



Well, this is a reassuring place to leave the chapter...
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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 22nd April 2016, 3:37 pm

I put off a week of this because I was pretty badly swamped with school work, and really, I still have a lot to do this week, but I managed to record a couple more chapters over this week and I noticed that Chapter 5 is pretty short, so here it is!

I guess it's pretty disappointing for a week's delay to add up to a shorter entry, but... man, I don't know why these chapters fluctuate in length so greatly other than that I call it where I feel there's a good stepping-off point. I'm tired and I can't do words too good today. On that note, here's Chapter 5, the one you can skip!

Spoiler:


This is a screen shot of the "Continue" screen. I really like the way this game handles saving my progress. There are "hard" save points, like my house, and then anywhere I want I can create a "soft" save point, sorta like the balloon in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Also like the balloons in New Super Mario Bros., and sorta like the Feather Statues in Majora's Mask 3D, as soon as I load up this "Continue" state, it gets erased. If I want to make another "Continue" point, I have to exit the game at that point and erase the save point as soon as I load it back up. This prevents save-scumming, which you might actually be disappointed to learn, and indeed I've started playing Shin Megami Tensei IV over the past week and I'll admit that I usually just restart the game rather than deal with Charon's fee every time I die at the hands of all the stupid bullshit SMT IV throws at me. However, this game automatically creates a "Continue" state when I get a Game Over, right before the point where I got my ass kicked, so that I have an opportunity to turn tail and get better prepared without losing any precious resources or feeling like save-scumming scum, which is the feeling that SMT IV gives me every time I rage-quit and exit the game so that I don't have to deal with Charon taking away what tiny little amount of Macca I have and I try to see if maybe THIS time THE STUPID MINOTAUR WON'T GET LIKE SEVENTEEN THOUSAND FREAKING CRITICAL HITS AND SMIRK LIKE A SHIT-EATING SON OF A BITCH AND THEN HE'S ALL LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED IS ANOTHER LABRYS STRIKE AND I'M LIKE OH HEY THANKS MINOTAUR NOW I'M DEAD AGAIN YOU CHEAP MOTHERF--

So yeah, what I'm saying is that it's bizarre to me that SMT I on the freaking iPhone has a better save system than SMT IV and SMT IV is really pissing me off so far. Now that I'm done talking nitty-gritty game mechanics, let's get back to this challenging yet fair classic of a game, which SMT IV tries to be like but misses the point and instead contributes to the bone-headed "trial-and-error-like-trying-to-break-through-a-brick-wall-with-my-head" school of game design.

And now that I'm done passive-aggressively bagging on SMT IV, I'll get back to this game!



Yeah, thanks for reigning me in there, LIEF. Your hair is nicer than Jonathan's anyway.

To recap what the heck is going on right now: in the last chapter, I was arrested for some reason that I still don't know (don't the Japanese have Miranda rights?!) and I was thrown into a cell with this guy, who turns out to be LIEF from my weird fever dreams I've been having the past few days. Also apparently he's dating SOLAR, the girl next door, whom I haven't seen all day, and so I've agreed to help look for her because I'm kinda already doing that for her dad. It's funny how these things work out.

I decide to move to the only other space I have available to me in this grid-based prison, which is toward the door out of here.



What? Surgery? Isn't there like some sort of, I dunno, consent I'm supposed to give before I have a surgery? Am I getting the laughing gas?

As Mr. "Worker" here opens the bars of the cell, LIEF wastes no time initiating his brilliant escape plan!



Truly a master tactician I have with me here, folks!



I mean hey, Naked Snake pretty much did the same thing when he was trapped in a cell, and it worked for him. Let's blow this popsicle stand!



Well, here's what the prison looks like. I still wonder what that guy was talking about, with the "surgery" and what-not. Wait a second...

*looks at the first screen-shot of this chapter*

The game says I'm in the hospital! What the hell?! Why are people being locked up in a hospital?! Let's do what I always do when I have questions on my mind, and that's talking to strangers!


Patient: Why did they put me in a hospital?

That's what I'm saying! And what kind of hospital administers surgeries on healthy people without their consent? And what kind of cops arrest somebody without their-- never mind that one, actually, that's kinda the whole idea.

Sitting in the cell next to this man is another man, and this one has a unique sprite. That's how you know he's special. Plus, he's in a wheelchair! If I thought the cops in this town had some nerve to arrest teenagers for no reason, boy oh boy...



Huh? What's this "program" you speak of... Oh, you mean the weird suspicious program that screamed "Nigerian prince" to me but I downloaded it anyway so now I can talk to demons but all that's happened is I got beat up by a bunch of zombies and a mannequin and the one demon I could have a conversation with was a Pixie who called me stupid? Yeah, real useful...

Wait... are you "Stephen"? A man in a wheelchair named "Stephen"? This day just gets weirder and weirder.

Stephen has a lot to say, as it turns out. This is the biggest soliloquy to appear thus far in the game. For a guy with a robot voice, he sure is a wordy fellow. (Man, that was a bad joke. This game doesn't have voice acting so I don't know if he even has a robot voice.

Anyway...)

Stephen: My last project was a teleportation device... The Terminal System. But my tests inadvertently brought demons to our world. I killed them, somehow, but was injured in the process. That painful experience allowed me to develop a new program. You know it as the Demon Summoning Program. Unfortunately a man named Gotou was very clever... He realized the Terminal is connected to the Expanse. He's now trying to summon and control demons himself. So I'm disseminating my program to the people. The more people who can control demons, the better. Hopefully that will keep them from running rampant. Alas, the program seems rather difficult to master. Did you understand all I've said?

Uh... sure?

Stephen: Allow me to give you this program. It allows you to analyze and record data on demons.

> JACK obtained the Demon Analysis Program.

Stephen: If there's anything you need help with, I'll be here. Maybe you'd like to save here just in case?


Well, as freakin' weird as this guy is, I can't say no to a permanent save point. Sign me up!

Stephen: I've unlocked the director's office on the second floor. Flip the last switch there, and the way out should open.

Go to the director's office and that'll open the front door. Got it. That's a bit of a convoluted way to design a hospital, but hey, frikkin' Japan, amirite gaiz?!

I talked to one more stranger before I started making my way up to the second floor.


Patient: I think he's trying to make an invincible soldier... I'm scared I'll end up as another one of his lab rats!

Jesus Christ... what the hell is going on in this hospital? A weapon to surpass Metal Gear?!

Making these dumb references is the only thing keeping me sane, as long as I'm trapped in a hospital where apparently the director has gone crazy. Did I not have enough to worry about, Shin Megami Tensei?! Next thing you're gonna tell me is that there are demons running around this hospital!



Oh, come on!

As much as I've been beat over the head with shock after shock after shock these past few days, I still try to start out friendly with these demons.

Knocker: Hyahahaha! If you think you can pull it off, then bring it on!

> Knocker is being cautious.


Sure doesn't seem like he's being cautious, Demon Analysis Program. In fact, he's kinda being a dick right off the bat. Maybe confidence will intimidate it. I sheathed my weapon.

> Knocker beckons to you.

I approached it.

Knocker: Hahahaha! Now there's nothing to be scared of! Go!

It swiped at me and I took a hit. Rather than kill it immediately, I decided to talk to it again, this time taking a threatening stance.

> Knocker is taunting you.

I accepted its challenge.

Knocker: Go!

Apparently its "challenge" was to withstand another petty attack without losing my patience. Unfortunately for this Knocker, I did lose my patience, and I noticed that LIEF has a "Gun" option in his battle menu. LIEF shot and killed the Knocker, which felt really satisfying... and then he leveled up.

Say, LIEF, what kind of firepower are you rockin' there?



Holy crap! LIEF's packin' heat! He got that gold Beretta! This game drops the name brand and everything. Metal Gear and Call of Duty (and I imagine most military shooters) do the same thing, so I wonder if copyright law is somehow different with guns or something. Apparently the Beretta 92F, AKA the M9, is the official sidearm of the US Armed Forces. That's pretty cool, but it makes me wonder where LIEF got his hands on one. Is there a military surplus place around here? American... military surplus... in Japan? Yeah, checks out.



Ooooh, a Weredog! I remember how good these guys are from my first play-through. I also remember them being a pain in the ass to recruit. Also the enemy that popped my Game Over cherry, if you will, for the SMT franchise.

> Weredog is laughing at you.

I ignored it.

Weredog: So, a brat like you is trying to act cool by defeating demons? I'll send you to the afterlife right now!

He smacked me with his club for a little bit of damage. I re-engaged him in dialog, this time threateningly.

Weredog: Who are you?

My name is--

> Weredog asked for your name.

... Um, yeah, I noticed. My name is JACK!

Weredog: Gyahahaha! See ya!

> Weredog left.


Well, at least I expected this guy to be a difficult sell.



It's one of these stupid things! I don't even care about being friendly to start, I immediately threatened it because I know how irrational these things are.

Preta: Go home and have your mommy rock you to sleep! Hahahaha!

You punk piece of--

> Preta is making fun of you.

Shut up, Burroughs! Er, I mean... Demon Analysis Program?

Listen, Preta, my name is JACK!

Preta: Huh? Who? Go!

It took a swipe at me but I killed it. There's nothing quite as satisfying as killing a demon who thinks it's hot stuff. I got a level out of the affair, too, so all my health came back. Pretas ain't got nothin' on me.

As I was traipsing around the first floor, I came across this door.



I wonder if this is the mystical "way out of here" that Stephen spoke of. I'll have to come back to this later.

So here we are, LIEF and I, just walkin' around the first floor, looking for the stairs, and we ran into a couple of Pretas and I'm like, "Dude, we got this," and then--



AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH LIEF NO I WILL AVENGE YOU

I murdered those Pretas extra-hard and then ran screaming to Stephen, who mercifully heals us when I use him as a save point. I don't dare question how he does that.

Eventually I came across this poor soul.



Nobody does, man, but that appendix has to come out sooner or later for most of us.



... Actually, that's a box.

> JACK found St Incense.

Huh, I don't know what "St" smells like, but maybe I'll light this incense up when I have the chance. Personally, I really like sandalwood, but I'll try any scent once.

As my mind was on my new incense, I ran into another batch of Pixies. They treated me so kindly last time, I decided to be friendly with them again.



Sure, doll, I just want you to be my first successful recruitment in this game. Whaddaya say?

Pixie: I hate you! Haaa!

Damn, friend-zoned again...



Whoa, I'm at the director's office already? I must've lost track of time trying and failing to recruit so many antisocial demon monsters. Time flies when you're having... fun?

Sure, let's go in the director's office. What's the worst that could happen?



Nah. Actually, speaking of that, I was wondering, could you, like, stop doing that to people?

Director: Director: I see. Then you're still wicked humans that won't obey my command. Allow me to modify you to become my puppets.

Uh, what? That can't an official diagnosis. Listen, man, if I didn't know any better I'd say that you're a quack, the way you're talking to me--



Oh, so you're demon, eh?! Well, Mr. Orias, I'll have you know that here on Earth, we don't put criminal suspects in hospitals! I'll show you how we do things here on Earth, bro!! I'll kick your ass!!! Ain't nobody makes an invincible soldier out of me unless I say so! My day has been so shitty that man I'm just fixin' to work off this stress and a boss fight is the perfect trick SO HERE WE GO YOU STINKIN--



Uh, well, this is awkward... um, so this is what the Game Over screen looks like, and uh... so uh... yeah...

In the next chapter, I'll, uh... umm... yeah...


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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Lief Katano on 22nd April 2016, 4:07 pm

re: Save Points

The original version had the standard "hard save and if you die you lose all the progress that you made since then". Given ATLUS, it's safe to say that the quick-save feature's there because it's there for all mobile RPGs, and the "reload your save from the tile before the encounter you fucked up" bit's just a bonus.

So if you were playing the Super Famicom version like people who aren't SCRUBS do you'd be begging and pleading for SMTIV's continue system.



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Re: Jack Pschitt plays Shin Megami Tensei iOS

Post by Cap'n Jack on 22nd April 2016, 4:39 pm

@Lief Katano wrote:re: Save Points

The original version had the standard "hard save and if you die you lose all the progress that you made since then". Given ATLUS, it's safe to say that the quick-save feature's there because it's there for all mobile RPGs, and the "reload your save from the tile before the encounter you fucked up" bit's just a bonus.

So if you were playing the Super Famicom version like people who aren't SCRUBS do you'd be begging and pleading for SMTIV's continue system.

To tell you the truth, I am being comically unfair to SMT IV. I once read a statement from David Cage (the guy behind Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain) where he said that video games shouldn't have "Game Over" screens, that instead a lose state should lead to another story thread. Not very many games are actually as hard-core about that design philosophy as Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain are, but it influenced the way I think about how games handle lose states, and actually, SMT IV really does make an effort to do something more than an arbitrary "Game Over, insert another coin", and for that it should be commended. When all is said and done though, the way it pans out is that I never save-scummed once in SMT I, and I quit the game and jumped right back into it from the 3DS Home menu like fifteen times when I was trying to kill the Minotaur. Save-scumming completely kills immersion, and SMT IV makes me want to do it, and I consider that a failure. The solution? Well, I could have manned up and taken Charon's fee, but because it took me so many attempts to kill the Minotaur, I'd have pretty much racked up a student loan debt by the time I finally did kill Minotaur (which was also the first attempt I made after doing some fusing for better demons, as it always goes with these game for me...). The second option would be to not make the Minotaur so absurdly difficult and saved it for a Hard difficulty.

As it stands right now, I've beaten SMT I, Devil Survivor 2, and Persona 3, and I currently have save files in Persona 4 and SMT IV. SMT I is by far the easiest of the bunch from my experience, and SMT IV, what I've played of it at least, is like a brick wall, as I said. I've heard the game gets easier after the beginning, which is true for a lot of these games, but man, the fact remains that so far, it's just not fun. Persona 3 and Devil Survivor 2 kicked my ass royally at certain points, but I knew exactly what I did wrong and it usually never took me more than two attempts to overcome any challenge those games presented to me (and I usually did everything on the first attempt, the way I like it), so usually, when I rise up to a challenge that SMT gives me and I prove my mad RPG skillz and beat it, I feel like an unstoppable bad-ass, and SMT gives me this feeling more strongly and more frequently than any other franchise of games. Occasionally though, stupid ridiculously difficult shit like detaining Kama in DeSu 2 or the Sleeping Table in P3 took me like eight million attempts, and I came out of those freakish difficulty spikes not feeling accomplished, but exasperated and just glad that I wouldn't be wasting my time any further. The Minotaur in SMT IV is the game's first real boss (Alraune and that crow lady are basically warm-ups, and I beat both of them pretty swiftly), and it does not bode well when the game's first real boss is one of these freakish difficulty spikes. It stopped being fun and simply became tiring watching my whole party get wrecked for the sixth or seventh time, with my thumb already pressing down on the Power button to close the game and escape to the Home menu.

EDIT: Just did the Challenge Quest where you kill the six hordes of Legions and stuff, and then got blind-sided because the surprise boss at the end is David who's a piece of shit with Mamudo and Blight. Save-scummed about seven thousand times at the mercy of the seemingly-random tendency for David and the horde of Legions to strike first even though they have no reason to because The Computer is a Cheating Bastard. Finally managed to kill David, and just like the Minotaur, I did not feel accomplished in the slightest, only that I happened to have been dealt a good hand by the RNG gods on that attempt. Then I went down below the bedrock and killed Medusa on my first attempt with no preparation whatsoever.

Make up your mind, SMT IV!


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